Blue Jays respond to disappointing defeat with 10-1 victory
The good times following the Toronto Raptors historic Eastern Conference championship on Saturday night made its way a few blocks to the Rogers Centre by Sunday afternoon.
Just over 14 hours after the Raptors eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks to book their spot in the NBA final against the Golden State Warriors, the Toronto Blue Jays’ bats came alive to halt a four-game losing slide; in emphatic fashion.
They were paced by youngsters Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio throughout. The Blue Jays pounded out a season-high 17 hits to crush the San Diego Padres 10-1.
Marcus Stroman pitched five strong innings. Before he eventually retired early because of dizziness and nausea due to the flu bug which has plagued him for a few days now.
“After the Raptors win I didn’t think there was any way we could lose today, just off the buzz and the energy in this city alone,” said Stroman, clad in a No. 23 Fred VanVleet jersey after the game. “It’s been pretty crazy.
“VanVleet, (Kyle) Lowry, (Pascal) Siakam, (Kawhi) Leonard, (Marc) Gasol, Danny Green. That’s unbelievable what they have done for the city. Because to witness that was something special. I hope they come back with the championship. Raptors in seven.”
Meanwhile, each Blue Jays player had a Raptors We the North t-shirt on as they boarded a bus to catch their charter flight to Tampa Bay for a three-game series against the Rays which begins on Monday afternoon.
“I’m just trying to show love to the people who show love to us,” said Stroman, when asked about his VanVleet jersey. “All the teams around Toronto, we’re kinda like one unit, kind of vibe off each other. We couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Guerrero struck four hits. This included his third homer in as many games since being recalled from triple-A on Friday. Meanwhile, veteran first baseman Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer during the fourth innings and a three-run shot in the eighth.
However, the afternoon belonged to the rookie second baseman Cavan Biggio. He is the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. Biggio was called up with Gurriel on Friday afternoon. Before this game, he had gone 0 for 6 with three strikeouts in his first two games.
But he busted out for his first hit. Before adding a single in the second inning that squeezed between Padres first base Wil Myers and second baseman Greg Garcia. Furthermore, he then smacked a four-seam fastball off reliever Matt Wilser down the right field line for his first homer.
“You want to get that first hit,” Biggio said. “You want to get that monkey off your back. I felt I could finally exhale.”
Following the game, Biggio showed off the two baseballs from his career firsts to his father and family. He was having dinner with them on Saturday and watched the Raptors game.
“It was a pretty insane walk back home,” he said. “This just goes to show you how fired up a city can get about a team. It’s something that we can do here.”